Final-Leg RunnerLt. James Diana - Division of Alcohol and Tobacco Enforcement. Since 1995, Jim…
Rob Bailey (Millsboro)
Kylie Lavelle (Wilmington)
Jillian Mathews (Felton), Deshawn Scye (Laurel), Christi Theron (Wilmington), Steven Turner (Newark)Millville), Carl Williams (Newark)
When the four athletes representing Team Delaware in the sport of track & field walk into the complex at the ESPN Wide World of Sports in Orlando they will become part of one of the largest events at the 2022 Special Olympics USA Games.
Boasting 36 individual and relay events from the 50-meter run to the pentathlon, Jillian Matthews (800, 1500), Christi Theron (100, 200), Deshawn Scye (100, 200) and Steven Turner (400, 1500) will each run their respective individual events before coming together to vie for gold in the 4 x 100 relay.
The team has been practicing regularly since September on Tuesdays at Smyrna High School and on Saturdays at Cape Henlopen High where a few of the school’s coaches and runners have chipped in to help. In addition, Kylie Lavelle, who is the head coach for the Wilmington Wizards track team has been involved in all facets of the training process from the beginning. It’s been a real team effort from the coaching staff that has ensured the four athletes are ready to compete at their highest level.
“My team’s fitness, conditioning and stamina have improved the most and that, in turn, has resulted in an improvement in their times,” said head coach Rob Bailey, who coached the team at the 2018 USA Games in Seattle. “The athletes are so excited and ready to compete. I told the team, ‘This is why we practice so hard for months and it’s normal to be a little nervous.’”
Once the nerves disappear the focus will quickly turn to the task at hand, and Bailey has preached for months what the approach should be.
“Have no regrets, have fun in your events and leave your best on the track and know for yourself that you did your best,” he shared.
Having been to the USA Games before, Bailey also realizes there is so much more to it than winning a medal.
“I am so looking forward to seeing all the athletes competing and having fun and the great sportsmanship we will see,” Bailey said. “Being able to meet athletes from all 50 states, exchange pins with them and making new friends for life is all part of it.”
For more information about Team Delaware, click here.